Katie Ormerod speaks of fear after breaking back in training crash
Snowboarder Katie Ormerod has revealed the fear she felt after being told she had broken her back in a training run ahead of March's World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
The 19-year-old, who finished second overall in the Big Air World Cup this past season, missed the biggest event of the campaign after chipping a bone in her back during the crash.
It meant a prolonged period of rest and a place on the sidelines as her compatriots battled it out in their final event of the season – the British freestyle ski and snowboard championships.
But for Ormerod, the focus is on recovery and coming back stronger and fitter for next season – the highlight of which will be the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Korea, in February 2018.
"I knew straight away that I'd hurt myself, but I just felt really sore.
"I didn't want to go to hospital as I thought that was a bit overkill but my physio persuaded me to.
"It's not something you want to hear but in reality I've just chipped a bit off the L3 verterbra. It's stable so it is just a case of resting until it's healed."
Safe in the knowledge there is no lasting damage, Ormerod – who finished on the podium three times this World Cup season and won a silver medal at the Innsbruck Air and Style – took a pragmatic approach to her enforced lay-off.
"It was a shame to miss the end of the season but it hasn't affected my world ranking, so it was probably a blessing in disguise to have a bit more rest," she said.
"I've snapped my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament], my meniscus on both knees, broken my shoulder, broken both arms, as well as cut my eye open. Injuries do come with the sport unfortunately.
"It doesn't shake me up or anything. I just keep coming back stronger. Hopefully there won't be any more injuries and I stay safe ahead of Pyeongchang next year."